My favorite question to ask a new graduate or someone who is creating a resume for the first time in a long time is....
"What is a resume for?"
Almost every single time, their answer is completely wrong.
You don't create a resume to 'Get a Job', you create a Resume to:
'Get An Interview!'
Resumes are like Badges...you use a resume to gain respect, to gain credibility, to show how you are 'capable and authorized' to do a job...just like a Badge. Resumes are a highlight, a showcase, an overview...of your experience, work history, education and interests...but today do you really need a Resume?
Does a cop need a badge? Yeah, and You still need a resume....
A brief History of the Resume.
After almost twenty-five years in our industry (unreal that it’s been that long) I can honestly say that Resume's haven't changed much. The same basic information shows up on your resume now, that would have shown up on your resume in 1990. Not much has changed...it's an outdated way to find a job, it's an outdated way to say who you are and what you can do, it's an outdated way to create interest in your skills. But although it's outdated, it's still necessary - unfortunately.
Back in the early 90's the fad was to create resumes on high quality expensive beautiful paper, heavy weight with awesome printing and elegant fonts. The goal was to stand out amongst the rest! But, everyone was doing it, so it didn’t help really even one bit. Then the trend moved to 'dropping off your resume' at a potential employer's front desk. They hated that! Mostly the receptionist...but if she didn't like your look, your smell, your first impression, you were completely dead in the water.
Around 2000, people started touting the need of a One Page resume. Make it short and sweet, easy to read and digest, and the mantra was "If you can't fit it on one page, then it's too long". That might have been helpful for recruiters, as it gave them enough information to make the initial phone call, but hiring managers wanted more information, especially in the I.T. and Healthcare world, so the One Page or Die mentally slowly did die out, and more and more people recommended going up to three pages maximum, if needed.
Soon, people started making 'works of art' as their resume, using word trees, and powerpoint presentations...that's all good and fine, but you still need a basic "This is Who I am and This is What I do and This is what I have Done" resume.
If you want to create an excellent resume that is memorable, here is a great site to visit:
If you use one of these awesome and amazing resume templates, remember to always send a copy of a traditional resume as well, so that you are easily uploaded into the employers recruiting system and you aren't tossed aside just because you don't fit the mold of a typical candidate.
For years, people have asked me to help them with their resume, to re-write it and format it for them.
They always say one thing when I'm done.
"Seriously? that's it?"
Yes, that's it. Simple - I create resumes that recruiters and hiring managers will read. Organized by section with the most impressive aspect of your background First, right at The Top! And the resumes I write, Are Not Cool! But they get the job done....
I use a very Simple Format:
CERTIFICATIONS (or Specialized Skills)
EXPERIENCE AND WORK HISTORY
The resumes I help people write are simple, easy to read and effective.
Why? Because after twenty-five years I know what I want to see in a resume, and most importantly what a busy recruiter wants to see as well.
My resumes aren't flashy and cool, they are to the point and easily understood.
Some simple guidelines are:
1. Easy to Read!
2. Organized flow
3. Simple Font
4. Bullet Points
5. Your most impressive education, skills, certifications or experience, at the top.
6. A Brief Summary that doesn't include overused words like "Energetic. Team Player. Customer Oriented. Fast Paced."
(Oh, and get rid of the term "Objective". We know your Objective, there is no reason to tell us)
If a recruiter has three resumes to review, and only time to call one person, you want that one person to be you!
So what does a recruiter use as their criteria in selecting you for a phone interview?
YOU FIT THE JOB REQUIREMENTS... AT FIRST GLANCE !
Spend the TIME needed to Tailor your Resume for the job you want. When you review the requirements of the job, look at the first three to five bullet points as being the most important things the employer wants, then...
Tailor your resume Match the Three to Five Requirements listed in the Job Description!
If the employer wants someone with 5-7 years’ experience in inbound customer service, experience with CRM software and the ability to deal with upset or frustrated customers, then your bullet points under the Experience section should read:
Over 6 years of inbound excellent Customer Service experience.
Responsible for defusing negative customer’s situations and creating a positive outcome for the customer and the organization.
"Expert level user" in various CRM systems, according to the needs of my employer.
With just those three bullets, you have covered the the most important requirements of the job, and....
You will get a phone call!
Biggest Mistakes People Make on a Resume
1. LYING - never a good idea.
2. PDF resumes - a lot of applicant tracking systems can't process them, and a lot of recruiters have to convert them to Word. They will usually just move on to the next resume
3. Wrong Order of Qualifications - If you are a new grad, but your education at the top, don't put your part time job at Footlocker as the first thing a recruiter sees. If you have no college degree, don't put your one semester at junior college at the top, highlight your most impressive trait....
4. Getting too fancy, and not including a 'vanilla' simple easy to read resume.
5. Lying - STILL NEVER A GOOD IDEA
Hopefully maybe this post will give you at least one idea on how to make your resume better. Enjoy the journey!